The Danish Royal Family celebrates Queen Margrethe’s Golden Jubilee with a surprise private dinner on Friday, 14 January 2022.

A surprise private family dinner. Photo: © Keld Navntoft, The Royal Court of Denmark
From left to right: Prince Vincent, Prince Nikolai, Prince Christian, Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Marie, Princess Isabella, Prince Felix, Princess Benedikte, Prince Joachim, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Henrik, Princess Josephine and Princess Athena.

Only the Queen’s immediate family attended the dinner at Christian VII’s Palace – her sister Princess Benedikte, her two sons and her eight grandchildren.

Queen Margrethe’s sister Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and her family were unable to attend as her husband King Constantine II had recently tested positive to COVID.

Danish version – Queen Margrethe II Golden Jubilee Banner in Blue. Source: Wonderful Copenhagen

The Royal Family used the Flora Danica dinner service for this very special occasion, which is said to be the most expensive Danish tableware, dating back to the late 18th Century.

The Flora Danica dinner service was last used for Queen Ingrid’s 80th birthday in 1990.

The Historic Flora Danica Dinner Service

Flora Danica Dinner Service
The Flora Danica dinner service dates from the 18th Century. Photo: © Keld Navntoft, The Royal Court of Denmark

The Flora Danica dinner service was created during the late 18th Century at the Royal Porcelain Factory in Copenhagen.

The design featured hand-painted life-sized plants which are found in Denmark, according to the book, Flora Danica, from 1761.

King Frederik V ordered botanist Georg Christian Oeder to compile a reference book of all plant life in Denmark in 1752 for further study.

Nine years later, Georg Christian Oeder finished the first booklet, which contained 60 ‘divine’ copper prints.

Eventually, within 122 years, the collection grows and eventually consists of 3,240 motifs of flowers and plants published in 51 booklets, including 3 supplementary publications, titled ‘Flora Danica’.

Denmark was an ally of Russia during the Russo-Swedish War from 1788 to 1789, but they failed to support the Russian army at a crucial point.

It was said King Christian VII ordered the original dinnerware, featuring many Danish flowers and plants from the Flora Danica, as a diplomatic reconciliation gift to the Empress Catherine II of Russia.

Knowing Catherine the Great was an avid collector of porcelain. King Christian VII wanted the dinnerware to be so magnificent and so impressive that it was worthy of the Empress.

However, the Empress died before the dinner service was completed so it never left Denmark and the King kept it for himself.

The Flora Danica originally consisted of 1,800 pieces, but only 1,500 of this priceless dinner service still survive and are exhibited in Rosenborg Castle and the Rosen Room in Christian VII’s Palace.

Flora Danica Dinner Service Condiments
Photo: © Keld Navntoft, The Royal Court of Denmark

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